Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Children with Aspergers syndrome suppressing their emotions at school - Dr Tony Attwood

PASSAGE FROM TONY ATTWOOD’S BOOK – “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome” on children with Aspergers syndrome suppressing their emotions at school (p. 132)

Conversations with parents can examine whether the child suppresses feelings of confusion and frustration at school but releases such feelings at home. I describe some children with Asperger’s syndrome as being a ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ – an angel at school but a devil at home. This has been described in the literature as masquerading (Carrngton and Graham 2001). Unfortunately, a parent may be personally criticized for not being able to manage his or her child with Aspergers’ syndrome at home. A teacher reports that the child has exemplary behaviour in class so the behaviour must be due to a defect on the parents manage the child’s emotions. It is IMPORTANT that school authorities recognise that children with Asperger’s syndrome can sometimes consciously suppress their feelings at school and wait until they are home to release their anguish on younger siblings and a loving parent. Such children are more are confused, frustrated and stressed at school than their body language communicates, and the constrained emotions are eventually expressed and released at home. The cause of the problem is the child not communicating extreme stress at school, and not the parent who does not know how to control his or her child.

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